CRUK earmarks £123m for Scots cancer researchers

CRUK earmarks £123m for Scots cancer researchers

Cancer Research UK has announced that it will award up to £123 million over a seven-year funding commitment to Glasgow’s Beatson Institute for Cancer Research.

The investment will bolster Scotland as a major global hub for cancer research and help the recruitment of international talent.

In recognition of the success of the Institute as a national centre of excellence, the charity will also change the name of the institute to the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute.

Professor Owen Sansom, director of the newly renamed Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute, said: “This recognition of the hard work and determination of our researchers to find new ways to tackle cancer, represents an unprecedented vote of confidence in Scotland’s scientific prowess.”

The funding for the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute will support around 300 researchers and 100 support staff across 30 research groups.

“Our world-class teams are focusing on a wide range of research,” said Professor Sansom. “From investigating the very roots of why cancer begins, to finding new less-invasive ways of screening and testing for the disease, as well as innovative ways to use imaging technology to monitor the progress of cancers and the effectiveness of treatment to ensure better outcomes for everyone.”

There are several key themes to the research undertaken at the CRUK Scotland Institute, including cellular metabolism in cancer and ways to target this for cancer therapy, the tumour microenvironment in metastasis and cancer reoccurrence and the biology of early disease to develop ‘precision prevention’ approaches.

Institutes like this one in Scotland alongside others in London, Cambridge and Manchester are CRUK’s major investment in discovery science, providing long-term support for innovative research into fundamental cancer biology.

Executive director of research & innovation at Cancer Research UK, Dr Iain Foulkes, said: “The long-term nature of these investments – which support world-class facilities, technological platforms and research programmes – gives researchers the freedom and resources to pursue novel ideas.

“Combined with the networking opportunities helping to foster collaborations, our institutes are leading the way towards future patient benefit and putting discovery at the heart of this endeavour.”

A further boost for research in Scotland

Cancer Research UK invests around £33m in Scotland each year, including the CRUK Scotland Institute, the CRUK Scotland Centre and grants awarded to research groups at universities across Scotland.

The charity also funds Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which are part of a network of 17 ECMCs across the UK delivering clinical trials of new experimental treatments in patients in conjunction with local NHS facilities. Since 2007, when the network was first established, around 30,000 patients have taken part in 2,100 clinical trials.

Cancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “With a long heritage of success in finding new ways to tackle cancer in Scotland the Institute is very much a national centre of excellence and will be key to us achieving our ultimate goal of beating cancer sooner.

“Its researchers represent some of the best scientists from around the world who have come together to work towards better outcomes for patients today and in the future.

“This investment reflects our confidence that Scotland can go even further in becoming a major competitor on an increasingly competitive worldwide cancer research stage as we aim for a ‘golden era’ of life sciences.”

Major studies into specific types of cancer which have a big impact on Scotland’s population including liver, pancreatic, bowel and lung, will also be supported through the CRUK Scotland Institute funding.

Share icon
Share this article: